Slow-Cooker Pork Zuppa


This rich Italian soup, made with ground pork, potatoes and kale is sure to satisfy. Using a slow cooker makes this low-calorie recipe easy to execute.

Prep Time:
30 mins
Additional Time:
6 hrs
Total Time:
6 hrs 30 mins
6 servings

To Reduce Sodium, Use Ground Pork

In this slow-cooker version of Zuppa Toscana, we use ground pork instead of Italian sausage, which can be high in sodium. The ground pork is browned in a skillet with onion, garlic, oregano and crushed red pepper, making it flavorful while keeping sodium in check.

What Type of Potatoes Can Be Used?

Opt for tiny red new potatoes, also called red baby potatoes. If you use larger red potatoes, cut them into smaller bite-sized pieces. You don't need to peel the potatoes because the potato peel has nutritional benefits like fiber and potassium.

How to Thicken the Soup

We use cornstarch to thicken the soup. Cornstarch is a great option as it is a natural thickening agent. In a small bowl, we combine fat-free evaporated milk and cornstarch until smooth, then we stir that mixture into the slow cooker. If you want to add more texture to the soup, you can use the back of a spoon or potato masher to gently mash the potatoes. Check out more tips on how to thicken soup from our test kitchen.

Additional reporting by Jan Valdez


  • 1 pound ground pork

  • 1 large onion, chopped (1 cup)

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

  • 4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth

  • 12 ounces tiny red new potatoes, each cut into 8 pieces

  • 1 (12 ounce) can fat-free evaporated milk

  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch

  • 2 cups chopped fresh kale


  1. In a large skillet, cook pork, onion and garlic over medium heat until meat is browned and onion is tender; drain off fat. Return meat mixture to skillet; add oregano, salt and crushed red pepper. Cook for 1 minute more. Transfer to a 3 1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker. Add broth and potatoes.

  2. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 6 to 8 hours or on high-heat setting for 3 to 4 hours. If using low-heat setting, turn to high-heat setting. In a small bowl combine evaporated milk and cornstarch until smooth; stir into cooker. Stir in kale. Cover and cook for 30 to 60 minutes more or until bubbly around the edge of the cooker. If desired, sprinkle with additional crushed red pepper.


Slow cooker


For easy cleanup, line your slow cooker with a disposable slow cooker liner. Add ingredients as directed in the recipe. Once your dish is finished cooking, spoon the food out of your slow cooker and simply dispose of the liner. Do not lift or transport the disposable liner with food inside.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

303 Calories
12g Fat
19g Carbs
20g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Serving Size 1 1/3 cups
Calories 303
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 19g 7%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 20g 40%
Total Fat 12g 16%
Saturated Fat 4g 22%
Cholesterol 53mg 18%
Vitamin A 3727IU 75%
Vitamin C 35mg 39%
Folate 30mcg 8%
Sodium 542mg 24%
Calcium 223mg 17%
Iron 2mg 12%
Magnesium 39mg 9%
Potassium 798mg 17%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

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